One of Baltimore’s best kept secrets is artist, Schroeder Cherry.  With his 2019 Artscape Sondheim Finalist status, Cherry quickly became a fan favorite.  Now, after years of producing an extraordinary multi-discipline body of art, Cherry is poised to step beyond his unsung artist status with his solo exhibition, Barbers and Porters: Pillars of Community at The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall.  Opening on January 23rd and on view until February 28th, Barbers and Porters presents Cherry’s newest series, the Barber Shop, and glances from his poignant Porters series.

The Barber Shop Series is inspired by those safe places where African Americans gather for culture, grooming, community, entrepreneurship, debate, politics, and perspectives on every day events.  After the Civil War, Chicago businessman George M. Pullman hired thousands of African-American men, many former enslaved, to serve white passengers traveling across the country on his luxury railroad sleeping cars.  While they were underpaid, overworked, and endured constant racism on the job, the porters would eventually fuel the Great Migration, shape a new black middle class, and ultimately launch the civil rights movement.  This is the inspiration for Dr. Cherry’s Porter Series.

A native of Washington, DC, Cherry began making art and playing with puppets in his youth.  Cherry earned a Bachelor of Arts in Painting and Puppetry from the University of Michigan, a Master’s degree in Museum Education from The George Washington University, and a Doctorate in Museum Education from Columbia University.  Cherry’s works are informed by a broad sweep of narratives, literature, mythology, music, current events, and steep in United States history.  Although his preferred medium is acrylic with found objects on wood, audiences will find familiar items such as keys and locks, as well as cultural identifiers like cowrie shells in his creations.

“My art works are open-ended narratives inspired by travel, music, literature, folklore, and everyday events.  Mixed-media assemblage paintings on wood often incorporate discarded objects.  Keys and locks represent tools of access.  Glass shards, metal, buttons, playing cards—all become part of the materials telling a story.  The works are open ended because there is no one story; viewers bring their own experiences to each piece.”

Currently, Dr. Cherry teaches Museum Studies at Morgan State University.  He has held museums positions at The Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Museum, Studio Museum in Harlem, the J. Paul Getty Museum in California, Baltimore Museum of Art, and the Maryland Historical Society.  His artwork has been exhibited at MAXgallery, Hamilton Arts Collective, Fleckenstein Gallery, Maryland Art Place, RESORT, The Peale Center, and the Watergate Gallery.

Cherry’s series present significant African American and American history through art.  His Porters Series is rivaled only by artist, Jacob Lawrence’s, The Great Migration series.  Schroeder Cherry’s Barbers and Porters: Pillars of Community, will be on view at The Gallery in Baltimore City Hall from January 23, 2020 through Black History Month, February 28, 2020.

Learn More
Add to Calendar 20200123 America/New_York 100 Holliay Street Baltimore MD 21202 Barbers and Porters: Pillars of Community – Schroeder Cherry